VII. OUR SELF NEEDING TO BE DENIED
Matthew 16:24 says that our self needs to be denied. This shows that the self has been condemned by God. God has condemned it, so we have to deny it.
VIII. OUR BODY BEING OF SIN AND OF DEATH
Our body is a body of sin and of death (Rom. 6:6; 7:24). It is very active in sinning because it is a body of sin, and it is altogether dead in doing the will of God to please God because it is a body of death. Sin in our body makes us very active to sin, and death in our body deadens us in doing God’s will. Our fallen body can only sin. It cannot do anything to accomplish God’s will or to please God.
IX. LEARNING TO HAVE NO TRUST
IN OUR NATURAL BEING IN THE THINGS OF GOD
After reading the above eight points, we should realize that we cannot have any trust in our natural being in the things of God. In Philippians 3:3 Paul said, "For we are the circumcision, the ones who serve by the Spirit of God and boast in Christ Jesus and have no confidence in the flesh." To have no trust in our flesh is to have no trust in our natural being.
We have to learn to reject our natural being and exercise our spirit in everything. God’s salvation makes our spirit the inner man (Eph. 3:16). This implies that our spirit is our new person as everything to us. Actually, we should not live another man; we should live only the inner man. Our spirit worships, prays, and should take the lead to do everything in our Christian life and service.
We should not exercise our spirit only when we come to the meeting. We need to exercise our spirit when we speak to our spouse and our children. We should purchase things by exercising our spirit. If we do not exercise our spirit, we are in the flesh. When we come to the meeting, we may act as one person, but at home and in our daily life we may be another person. This is wrong. We need to do everything by exercising our spirit. Otherwise our meeting is altogether theatrical, and our meeting hall becomes a theater. We do not want to be actors and actresses who merely talk about the things of God in the meeting hall. We want to be those who exercise our spirit, deny the self, and reject the flesh. We should not have a double personality, being one person in the meetings and another person outside the meetings. This is hypocrisy and is wrong. Our entire being must be strengthened into the inner man. We must live the inner man, that is, we must let our spirit do everything, and reject everything of our natural being.
(Basic Lessons on Service, Chapter 16, by Witness Lee)